What about "Alternative" vs. "Conventional Medicine?" 

There is no thing such as “alternative versus conventional medicine”! 

 

“Alternative versus conventional medicine” is an IDEA.  This IDEA arises only if one particular approach to healing is imagined to be a “something” which is static, something that everyone does the same with the same results.  If this kind of IDEA feels challenged, it is because there is an imagined OTHER IDEA, which itself is imagined to be a “something” that is static and experienced exactly the same by everyone. 

 

Sounds silly doesn’t it?  It does to me! 

 

But there is a great deal of time, energy, and emotion invested in the “ideas” of becoming a doctor or a researcher or a therapist of some kind.  Time, energy and emotion are invested by anyone seeking assistance for a health matter, too.   Serious investments like these give rise to serious expectations and strong preferences.  If these expectations and preferences are played out in the marketplace or in the media, a silly wrestling match between IDEAS takes the force of propaganda and public policy. 

 

What idea is meant by your ideal idea?  Do you have any idea?  I have an idea: I have no idea!  Is that ideal?  Sounds like a deal…

 

People are often surprised to learn that many of my teachers in holistic and energy medicine are actually medical doctors.  In fact, some of the most naturally oriented practitioners I know earned their post-graduate degrees in the fields of neurology, cardiology, psychology, dentistry and physics.  In contrast, some of the more orthodox and dogmatic practitioners I know were educated almost entirely within holistic and natural medicine schools.

 

An important thing to understand is that health care providers choose to practice their particular approach to health care in very specific environments. Just think: a typical emergency room environment will require some very different protocols than a typical university research environment.  One doctor may choose to serve as many patients as he or she can within a public hospital setting.  Another may choose to spend significant amounts of time serving personally referred clients in a private setting.

 

These different health care providers are necessary and valuable, especialy if their services are utilized responsibly.  I wouldn’t want a caring and responsible caregiver to suffer a loss in the imagined “alternative versus conventional medicine war” and become unable to extend their unique services to humankind.

 

So, we should realize that if a medical service is being offered in a large-scale public setting, the situations and treatment options that arise will be very different from a service that is being offered in a private one-on-one setting.  Just imagine if a person with years of chronic neck and shoulder tension expected significant and long-lasting relief from a 15-minute chair massage in an airport.  It’s possible…but perhaps not very realistic.  On the other hand, a 2-hour massage in an environment that is dedicated for the purpose of maximum relaxation and comfort might provide such relief.   

 

When we choose to see a particular healer or health care provider, we must be REALISTIC about the CONTEXT of services available and not IDEALISTIC about the CONCEPT of services being challenged.  Responsibility in the person seeking care invites responsibility in the person offering care.  Such “response-ability” in the arena of health care preserves a full spectrum of healing options for all of us.    

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